Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 4 hours, 32 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Russian national park to bridge US-Russia divide
January 18, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday decreed a national park in its remote Far Eastern Chukotka region, paving the way for a joint US-Russian nature reserve spanning the Bering Strait, an idea first proposed by the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree to create the new national park called Beringia, Russia’s World Wildlife Fund said. The park will eventually be part of the first US-Russian nature reserve spanning the Bering Strait area, it said.

The 86-kilometre-wide strait separates Russia and Alaska but an earlier land bridge is believed to have once served as one of the earliest migration routes between the two continents.

The plan to create a US-Russian national park originally came from Gorbachev, WWF Arctic expert Mikhail Stishov told the reporter. Gorbachev was the Soviet Union’s last leader, presiding over the breakup of an empire, abandoned Cold War rhetoric and sought to promote cooperation with the United States. On the US side, the Bering Land Bridge national reserve in Alaska, one of America’s most remote protected areas, has existed since the 1970s.

The bilateral park project has taken this long because Chukotka needed to upgrade an existing nature reserve to national park status.

By the time Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shook hands last September and agreed to “bridge” the parklands on either side of the Bering Strait, relations were at one of their lowest points since the Gorbachev years.

But for the migrating polar bears, huge bird colonies and walruses of the Bering strait, political issues are not a priority, Stishov said.

“We just wanted the national park,” he said.

Linking the two parks will facilitate conservation, preserve ties between indigenous peoples and allow tighter co-operation on environmental monitoring, according to the US-Russia agreement signed in September.

Russia’s Beringia national park will directly touch the US border, although it does not include some of Russia’s marine waters in the strait nor the small Ratmanov island, which is a base for a Russian border control station.

Chukotka, where billionaire Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich served as governor from 2000-2008, is a vast, sparsely inhabited region bordered by the Arctic and the Pacific. The new national park will only be accessible via air or sea.
Agence France-Presse

 

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Russia TV ‘pulls show’ over Putin divorce joke
MOSCOW: Russian state television has pulled a show over a joke about President Vladimir Putin’s surprise divorce announcement, one of its presenters said on Saturday. ..
Russia smokers flout new tobacco ban
MOSCOW: Russia’s smokers openly defied an ambitious new ban on public smoking as it went into effect on Saturday, calling it unfair and casting doubt on the government’s ..
Duma approves ban on smoking in public places
MOSCOW: Russian lawmakers on Tuesday passed on third and final reading a bill banning smoking in public places, a major pillar of a Kremlin drive to improve health in the..
Medvedev firm, will not reverse time clock order
MOSCOW: When will the sun come up today? In Russia, it’s a matter of fierce debate, and one that may reflect the sinking stature of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Med..
HRW condemns Russia’s ‘post-Soviet crackdown’
MOSCOW: Human Rights Watch on Thursday condemned the Russian authorities under President Vladimir Putin for unleashing the toughest crackdown against civil society since ..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright